Despite this, on Monday Israel announced the lifting of the closure on Judea and Samaria that had been implemented for last week’s Independence Day holiday.
By Gil Tanenbaum, TPS
Since the beginning of 2022, more than 100 buses have been confiscated and more than 1,000 indictments have been filed against employers, lodgers and drivers who aided the infiltration of Arabs from areas of Judea and Samaria into Israel without a permit to do so.
This fact was revealed at a special meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which held what was described as a “quick” discussion on the matter.
The meeting came after the Israeli government returned the bodies of the two Islamist terrorists who shot and killed two Israelis in the city of Hadera on March 27.
And last Thursday night, at the end of the Independence Day celebrations in Israel, in Elad, two terrorists axed to death three Israeli men, leaving behind 16 orphans.
That was just the latest in a string of such attacks committed against innocent people all over Israel in the past few months. Many of the attacks were committed by infiltrators from the areas of the Palestinian Authority. The attackers were also aided by others who had crossed into Israel illegally.
Despite all of this, on Monday Israel announced the lifting of the closure on Judea and Samaria that had been implemented for last week’s Independence Day holiday.
Many point out that when such closures are lifted the many Arabs who legally enter Israel provide cover for those who do so illegally.
Israel Border Police Deputy Chief of Staff Eli Gozlan reported that until about a month and a half ago, when Israel closed the “seamline” (the old border around Judea and Samaria) with Border Police and army forces, 20-23 thousand Palestinians without entry permits would enter Israel through the breaches [in the security barrier] every day.
Also, before action was taken, 24 companies aided an average of 150-200 people a month with illegal passage to enter Israel. But over the last month and a half, only 11 such trips were advertised for infiltrators, only a few of which actually went into operation.
However, Gozlan added that it was important to note that, both then and now, there continue to be many legal types of transport for Arabs who hold entry permits across the security barrier, including for humanitarian reasons.
“These [illegal] transports,” said Gozlan, “generate large profits, so one must know how to attack the economic element, both in enforcement and forfeiture [of vehicles and so forth involved in crime].”
Since the beginning of the year, he told the committee, more than one hundred buses have been confiscated, and indictments have been filed against over a thousand drivers and their employers.
The committee’s chairman, MK Ram Ben-Barak, concluded, “The IDF will not be able to remain at the seamline for such a long time. We need to see how it will be freed up for its missions – to win the next war – and who will replace them there.”
“We need to make sure that whoever enters the country will only be those who passed security checks and were approved, but we also need to allow Palestinians to make a living, and the Israeli economy needs that too,” he added.